Thursday, May 1, 2014

Overcoming Obstacles in Cooking by Matthew W. Miller


Being the parent of a special needs child, I've grown a support system with others that have special needs people in their lives as well.  I've met the most amazing people.  My Sammy, is an amazing cook.  He started showing an interest in cooking when he was only four, and so every time he's been interested, we hop in the kitchen and throw something together.  Four years later, the kid can bake nearly anything.  He doesn't like to read recipes though.  He memorizes them and then puts everything together from memory.  Sam can talk anyone through how to make the perfect banana bread.

I've been lucky to have not many any parents that treat their special needs children like they're incapable of making a contribution to others.  Most of these special people I know have their own unique talents and those talents are cultivated.  Cooking actually seems to be one of the more popular talents.  I don't mean Hamburger Helper cooking.  I mean, shredding and measuring and sauteeing and presentation.

Matthew's cookbook is actually quite amazing.  There aren't any pictures on the pages of what the dish is 'supposed' to look like.  This means that the finished product looks exactly like it should and there won't be that sense of failure or confusion as to why the home-prepared dish looks different than that of the book.

The book is color-coded.  The pages of each section are a full color so that it's easy to find which section you're looking for and to know exactly where you are in the book without having to find an index.  The pages are bright and captivating colors, which actually makes it more exciting.

The recipes have tasty and fun names.  Most of them use simple ingredients but end up with a 'fancy' meal.  For example, Chicken Cacciatore.  I don't think most of us would dare give that a try.  It sounds daunting, right?  Nope!  I bet even I could do it with the recipe provided!  Maybe.  I'm sure Sam could though!

The outside binding of the book is a glossy laminate that will lean up easily without damaging the book, making it perfect for kitchen use.

At the end of the book is the most valuable information!  It gives you great insight into what a special needs person might be thinking and easier ways to teach them.  It gives references for other helpful tools as well as tips for helping a special needs person in the kitchen.  There are some beautiful pictures that you cannot look at without smiling.  There's a list of special needs abbreviations and their meanings for easy to find use.  There's a section on different cookbooks that some might find interesting. There's a wonderful section on cooking through television shows!

If you're a special needs person, or know one, this is a must-have.  I haven't seen a more comprehensive book for the special needs person to learn to cook, or to add recipes to their repertoire.  This book is pure genius and I applaud Matthew on an amazing job well done.  Thank you for creating something that will help strengthen the bond between my child and myself, as well as help him to be even more independent.

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